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Pipelines safest bet, U.S. oil lobby says

Jan. 16, 2014 at 8:01 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Statistically speaking, the American Petroleum Institute, the industry's lobby, said pipelines are the safest way to deliver petroleum and petroleum products.

API and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines found safety measures adopted by oil and gas companies led to a 62 percent reduction in pipeline incidents from 2001-12.

"Statistically, pipelines have an almost 100 percent safety record and reaching a perfect record of safety is our industry's goal," API Pipeline Director Peter Lidiak said.

An increase in North American oil production corresponded with an increase in the number of major pipeline incidents. A 2010 spill of heavier Canadian crude oil in southern Michigan was one of the worst inland accidents of its kind. About 5,000 barrels of a diluted form of heavy Canadian crude oil spilled from a 22-foot rupture in a pipeline in Mayflower, Ark., in March.

Despite the incidents, API said more than 14 billion barrels of petroleum and petroleum productions were sent though nearly 186,000 miles of pipeline in 2012 without incident.

"The industry has implemented best practices that have lowered corrosion-caused spills by almost 80 percent, since 2012," Lidiak said Wednesday.

API supports Keystone XL, which would carry heavy Canadian crude oil recovered from tar sands to southern U.S. refineries.

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